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BETWEEN ECONOMIES IN THE MILL ON THE FLOSS: LOANS VERSUS GIFTS, OR, AUDITING MR. TULLIVER'S ACCOUNTS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 April 2005

Kathleen Blake
Affiliation:
University of Washington

Extract

MR. TULLIVER DRAWS LITTLE ATTENTION from critics of The Mill on the Floss compared to his children, Maggie and Tom, and his finances are hardly ever looked at in any detail, just as other sections of George Eliot's novel that concern economics are not. Yet George Eliot says Mr. Tulliver has his tragedy, as do his daughter and son, and it is precisely Mr. Tulliver's money trouble, his bankruptcy, that sets the condition for the troubles of the next generation. I seek to trace a narrative logic for a novel that has seemed to many to strain plot coherence, and I do so by an economic analysis that allows a link to be drawn between such seemingly disparate tragedies as a father's financial ruin and death and his children's drowning, with the sister giving up love then life itself to reclaim her brother's favor, seeking in vain to rescue him from a flood.

Type
EDITORS' TOPIC: VICTORIAN TAXONOMIES
Copyright
© 2005 Cambridge University Press

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BETWEEN ECONOMIES IN THE MILL ON THE FLOSS: LOANS VERSUS GIFTS, OR, AUDITING MR. TULLIVER'S ACCOUNTS
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